Hamza Gaus and Mula Karar
Introduction to the Pirs beliefs Sufism
It has been seen under the influence of Hinduism there had arisen among the Muhammadans the new sect of Sufism. The Sufi faqirs performed severe penances and practised religious austerities, sometimes even than those performed and practised by Hindu hermits. By such performances and by practice of concentration, they developed their power of will and acquired occult powers. They excelled the Brahmins in cultivation and encouragement of superstition among the people. They would exercise evil spirits by their spells, would feign to avert impending disasters, would promise sons to the sonless and riches to the poor and do a thousand other things to gain power and control over the people's minds. If someone incurred their anger, they would threaten to destroy him by inviting on him the wrath of God. In this way they came to wield great influences among the people. By fair promises and dark threats they obtained converts to their religion. Thus the Sufi Faqirs though no favourites with the orthodox Mohammedan Government, were in their own way, supplementing its efforts towards the spread of Islam in India.
The Hindus were thus suffering under double oppression. Then inferiority complex developed in them during oppression. The inferiority complex developed in them during centuries of subjection had reconciled them to their lower, miserable lot. They dared not protest or grumble. The spirit within them had ceased to stir even at the most horrible excesses. They had no self-confidence or self-respect. Guru Nanak wanted to make them a free, self-respecting people, who would not stoop to oppress others nor bend against a tyrant's blows. He fain would end the system of government under which one sect, community or group of men, could treat others with cruelty, contempt and arrogance. He realized that this huge task of spreading the gospel of freedom, equality and brotherhood, could not be accomplished in a day or by a violent revolution, even if he were so inclined. The entire outlook of the rulers and the ruled had to be changed. A moral regeneration had to be engendered and fostered in them, so that while, on the one hand, those in power might come to look upon oppression in all its forms as an unpardonable sin against God and humanity. On the other, those whose lot it was to be ruled and ordered, should acquire dignity and self-respect as would make it impossible for them to bend or bow before the tyrant's threats or steel. Both the rulers and the ruled had to be awakened to a sense of the duties and the rights of Man.
So on the one hand, he called upon the people to worship the Fearless, Omnipotent, Fear-quelling Lord and become brave and fearless; on the other he boldly met tyrants and oppressors, whenever possible, remonstrated with them against their inhuman, ungodly acts and turning their thoughts towards the kind and merciful Father of all, urged them to treat their subjects as they would themselves wish to be treated by the Great King. Thus as we have seen, he feared not the power or wrath of Malik Bhago, humbled that haughty man before the eyes of his neighbours and fellow-townsmen, banished all feelings of inferiority from the hearts of Bhai Lalo and others of his low status and aroused in them a sense of equality and self-respect. We have seen how he met the ferocious bigot Sikander Lodhi, and made him listen to his Divine counsel and vow to be a king and just ruler. Similarly whenever he heard of any Sufi Faqirs using their positions and powers in a reckless manner, he boldly went to them, discussed things with them, overpowered them with his deep learning and spiritual grandeur and taught them to live as brothers and helpers to the people of all castes and creeds. Two such conquests of Love we shall narrat here.
Pir Hamza Gaus
In the city of Sialkot (present day Pakistan) there lived a Muslim faqir named Hamza Gaus. By virtue of the severe penances which he had performed by the occult powers which he was generally believed to possess, by means of spells and charms which he gave to the people for the fulfilment of their desires and by means of other contrivances he had acquired very great influence in the locality.
A Khatri Hindu had no son. He approached the Pir and begged him to intercede for him and to get him the gift of a son. He promised to give the first-born to Pir. Hamza Gaus promised to pray for fulfilment of the Hindu's wishes.
In due course, three sons were born to the Khatri. He took the eldest to the Pir and said, "Here do I make over the child to you, Now name his price. I shall pay that and buy him from you; for such is the practice in such cases".
Hamza Gaus wanted to have the child and nothing else. The khatri offered him a large sum of money, even weight for weight in silver and gold, but the faqir would have none of it. The Khatri took the child back to his home.
The Pir got angry He vowed vengeance not only on the offering Hindu. But also the whole city which harboured such a promise-breaker. So he retired into a closet which had a dome over it. Closing the door from inside, he directed his disciples not to disturb him or let him to be disturbed on any account. He would come out himself after he had his wishes fulfilled by dint of the austerities which he was to practise for forty days, concentrating his thoughts all the time on the doom which he wanted should fall no the city and its people.
The news of this resolve of the dreaded faqir spread in the city like wild fire. The people, who had reasons to believe and fear that the Pir really possessed powers to destroy the city, were in great despair. Most of them began to observe fasts and to say prayers to their various deities. But there seemed to be no effect. A deputation of the people went to the door of the Pir's cell and raised a loud lament. But the Pir remained unmoved.
Guru Nanak Dev ji's meeting
The people of the city were in this predicament when Guru Nanak hastily left Bhai Lalo; for his highly sensitive heart had caught the vibrations sent forth by the woe-laiden hearts of the people of Sialkot. Passing through Pasrur, he reached near the city. He sat outside, by the side of an old graveyard under a Ber tree. The Pir's dome was visible from there. Ater having refreshed himself a little, the Guru sent Mardana to the door of the Pir's cell. He was to tell the watchers at the door the Minstrel of God Almighty had come and would speak to the Pir. The disciples of the faqir said that they could not disobey their Pir. Mardana returned to the Guru. He was sent again. He was asked to appeal in the name of God and on behalf of the whole populace of the city, which was in great panic. If all appeals failed, he was to tell the watch-keepers at the door that their Pir's chhila or penance would be broken by the Will of God exactly at mid-day. Mardana went and said all this. But this disciples of the Pir were adament. Still, Mardana's words did not fail to alarm them a lot.
Gradually, the news spread in the city that quaintly dressed man of God had come, that he had tried to get an opportunity of speaking the Pir and dissuading him from his wrathful resolve, but, having failed, had foretold that the Pir would be baffled in his ungodly object, because his chhila would break by the Will of God. Crowds of people gathered around the Guru. He sat with his eyes half-shut and slightly raised in the direction of the dome under which sat this Pir. Mardana was playing the rebeck and singing one of the Master's Songs of prayer and invocation to the Almighty father of all.
The miracle of Guru Nanak
The people sat in great suspense. The sun slowly climbed up the sky. Exactly at noon a loud sound was heard from the direction of the dome. It seemed that a strong building has cracked as if by a bolt of thunder. It was found that the dome under which the Pir sat in concentration had cracked. Bright rays of the sun had penetrated into the dark room and fallen on the head of the Pir. The loud sound of the crack and the beam of rays which had suddenly fallen on him in the darkness had disturbed him and interrupted his concentration. He became afraid lest the roof should fall on his head. He got up hastily, opened the door and rushed out of the cell in great terror.
The Chhila was thus broken. The people felt relieved all bowed to the Guru and thanked him for his having saved them from the consequences of the dreaded Pir's wrath. The Pir himself came to the Guru in great humility. The Guru represented to him the injustice of his wrath against a whole city. The Pir complained that the Khatri had broken his promise and deserved chastisement along with his neighbours, who had not forced him to fulfil his word. 'In fact,' added he, 'all people here are mammon-infatuated liars and deserve to mercy.'
The Guru said, 'But sinners and wrong-does should be reclaimed and not destroyed. God is Love. It becomes us, His servants, ever to strive to bring the misguided people on to the path that leads to his Abode. We should show them how God Loves the repentant sinners, by loving and forgiving them ourselves. There is too much hatred and oppression in the land already.. We men of God, should sow seeds of Love and amity among the people. Moreover, why should a faqir wish to have someone as his son? You have your disciples to serve you. If you would have children, become a householder. Besides, I cannot believe that the entire city is peopled by mammon-infatuated, spiritually dead people.'
The Guru then told Mardana to go to the business centre of the city and purchase for him truth and falsehood worth two paisas (2 pennies or 2 cents currency of India). Mardana went around the shops, asking for the commodities in question. But all laughed at his queer quest. None took him seriously until he reached the shop of one Mula Karar. The latter wrote on a slip of paper, 'Death is true and life is false.' This paper he gave to Mardana for delivery to the Guru.
When Mardana gave the slip of paper to the Guru, the latter turned to Pir Hamza Gaus and said, 'You see, here we have one who is spiritually alive, who knows what is true and what is false and cannot be mammon-infatuated. So your wrath against the whole city was unjust and unjustified.'
The Pir was convinced of his error. He bowed before the Guru and vowed to live, thenceforth, as a torch-bearer of the all-loving, Merciful God. The Jujaba (Ber) tree, under which the Guru sat, still exists outside the city and is called Baba's Ber. A Gurdwara stands at the site to commemorate the event. The domed cell of the Pir with its cracked top stands within sight of the gurdwara.
Mula Karar hastened to meet the Guru and fell at his feet. The Guru was glad to receive him. Mula accompanied the Guru on his travels for some time. Then he returned home. When the Guru visited the city a second time, he sent for him. Mula, it seems had enough of the sort of life which Guru's company entailed; but he did not wish to disobey the Guru straight away. So he hid himself in a dark room on his house and his wife told Mardana that Mula had left for a distant place. When Mardana delivered her message to the Guru, he said, 'This man used to declare that life is false and death is real, yet now he seeks to cling to what is false. But who can escape death? It comes to all, wherever one may be.'
As Mula lay hidden in the dark room, he was bitten by a snaked and died. On this the Guru composed the following:-
'Friendship with Karars is false and false is its foundation. Mula saw not whence death would come to him'.
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